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This Week@WesternU, March 8-12, 2010

by Rodney Tanaka

March 8, 2010

Read 4 mins

From the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific:

Kudos on accomplishments

Vicki Wedel, PhD, Assistant Professor for COMP and CDM, gave a paper, "Determining age and season at death in cold cases using dental cementum increment analysis," in Seattle at the American Academy of Forensic Sciences annual meetings.

Katrina Balido, DO ’12, and Nancy Chang, DO ’12, presented at the 42nd International Conference on Antibody Development on March 1-5 in Carlsbad, Calif., the results of their work under the guidance of Marek Malecki, MD, PhD. This conference is the most prestigious and has the longest tradition on the development of diagnostic and therapeutic antibodies in the world. Attendance is highly selective and only possible after multi-step peer-review/qualification processes. Katrina Balido’s contribution created the means for tracking and selecting human, non-embryonic, omnipotent stem cells and cancer stem cells. Nancy Chang’s contribution generated new avenues to monitor healing processes in vivo, in the patient’s body with no need for surgical biopsies or exposing patients to carcinogenic ionizing radiations. Their presentations planted WesternU’s flag in this rapidly developing areas of genomic medicine. The titles of their presentations: Katrina Balido and Marek Malecki. 2010. Genetic engineering of single chain variable fragments (scFv) fused with green fluorescent protein (GFP) targeting bone marrow stem cells (BMSC). Nancy Chang and Marek Malecki. 2010. Genetic engineering of constructs for single chain variable fragments (scFv) against integrin IIb/IIIa receptors fused with red fluorescent proteins (RFP).

From the College of Allied Health Professions:

Department of Physical Therapy Education News

Associate Professor Georgeanne Vlad taught the two-day Clinical Instructor Education and Credentialing Program from the American Physical Therapy Association. The course was held last weekend at Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage with Marijean Piorkowski, PT, DPT ’02, serving as the course co-instructor. Among the 60 participants were Ann (Gumpf) Babcock, PT, MPT ’94, and Bill Carlson, PT, MPT ’95.

From the College of Pharmacy:

Kudos on accomplishments

Dr. Cynthia Jackevicius and former resident Dr. Tina Liu published the following articles: Liu TJ, Jackevicius CA. Drug Interaction Between Clopidogrel and Proton Pump Inhibitors. Pharmacotherapy 2010;30:275-89. Liu T, Jackevicius C. Ranolazine (Ranexa) – a quick review. California Pharmacist 2009;Fall:32-5.

Drs. James Scott, Associate Professor, PPAD, and Steve O’Barr, Associate Professor and Interim Chair, Pharmaceutical Sciences, have successfully procured funding of $60,000 from Tibotec Therapeutics for their Investigator Initiated Study (IIS) concept titled, "An assessment of the effect of darunavir On T-cell function."

Drs. Karl Hess and Anandi Law, along with former Community Pharmacy practice resident Dr. Chih-Wei Dai, published a Special Feature article in the Journal of the American Pharmacists Association themed issue on Public Health: Hess KM, Dai C, Garner B, Law AV. Measuring outcomes of a pharmacist-run travel health clinic located within an independent community pharmacy. JAPhA 2010; 50:174-180.

COP News

Join the College of Pharmacy at the fourth annual Ray Symposium to be held in the new Health Education Center auditorium on April 15, featuring Dr. Michael Cohen speaking on medication safety. For more information please visit

Please consider supporting this year’s eighth annual GNP/ICP Scholarship Golf Classic on June 9, 2010 at Robinson Ranch in Santa Clarita. This prestigious tournament supports scholarship funds for those students who have an interest in pursuing an independent pharmacy career. For more information contact Paul A. Stover at

From the College of Veterinary Medicine:

CVM Earns Full Accreditation

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Council on Education (COE) has granted Full Accreditation to the College of Veterinary Medicine for three years. Click here to view the full story.

Kudos on accomplishments

Veterinarian and Assistant Professor Dr. Babak Faramarzi was awarded a $4,000 scholarship by the Chi Institute to support his study of traditional Chinese medicine. This award is specific regarding Acupuncture in horses. Dr. Faramarzi has conducted extensive studies of the equine foot and he hopes for better understanding of alternative medicine including acupuncture. Chi Institute is the biggest institute supporting traditional Chinese veterinary medicine; they also offer a Masters degree. Further information is found at their Web site,

Veterinarian and Assistant Professor Dr. Pedro Diniz was awarded a $10,000 grant to study "Molecular Prevalence & Viral Load of Replicating Feline Coronavirus in the Bloodstream of Healthy Shelter Cats in Southern California." The grant from the Winn Feline Foundation for the Health and Well-being of All Cats was awarded in a competitive review process, and is renewable as progress of the research merits. The College of Veterinary Medicine has been a supporter and partner with local animal shelters and animal rescue organizations. This study will likely extend that circle of strategic partnerships.

Veterinary parasitologist Dr. Malika Kachani has been invited by the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) to become a member of the Strategic and Technical Advisory Group on Neglected Tropical Diseases (STAG-NTDs). STAG is the principal advisory group to the World Health Organization for the control of Neglected Tropical Diseases. STAG has the mandate of advising WHO on overall global policies and strategies, ranging from epidemiology, monitoring implementation, research development to delivery of interventions and their linkages with other health interventions.

From the College of Dental Medicine:

In The News

ADA News wrote a nice article about CDM’s inaugural year. Click here to view the story.

From University Advancement:

COP Gift

The College of Pharmacy’s Ray Symposium event received a $15,000 premiere sponsorship gift from Watson Pharmaceuticals, Inc. through Dean’s Advisory Council Member Thomas Russillo.

Capital Campaign

WesternU’s Capital Campaign has surpassed $30 million in gifts and pledges. Click here to read more.

From the Harriet K. and Philip Pumerantz Library:

Citrus Exhibit

The "Citrus and Health" exhibit hosted by The Pumerantz Library has been extended through April 30. The collection is being presented by Richard Barker, retired banker and founder and president of the Citrus Roots – Preserving Citrus Heritage Foundation. Among the items on display are citrus crate labels, photographs of the citrus industry, magazine advertisements, reamers, home remedies, and more. The collection is open to the public Monday thru Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and noon to 4 p.m. on weekends. Invite your family and friends. The exhibit, in the library’s lobby and museum room, is sponsored by Citrus Motors of Ontario. Please visit for more information.

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